Continuing Dental Education

Ergonomics: Neck, Back & Beyond and Fitness 101 for Dental Professionals

lecture and dental tools icon Lecture & Hands-on

This course is offered in partnership with the Oregon Health Sciences University Office of Continuing Dental Education.

The UW and OHSU Offices of Continuing Dental Education gratefully acknowledge

for their generous education grant in support of this program.

Course Description
Morning Topic
Neck, Back & Beyond: Evidence-based Ergonomics to Prevent Pain & Extend Your Career

Did you know that one-third of dentists who retire early are forced to, due to a musculoskeletal disorder? The financial impact of poor ergonomics can be devastating to dental professionals, and resultant injuries can impair quality of life for you and your staff.

Pain is not a necessary by-product of delivering dental care! Effectively preventing work-related pain in dentistry requires addressing numerous risk factors, both inside and outside your operatory. In this lecture, Dr. Valachi combines 20 years of dental ergonomic experience with her doctorate research to teach truly effective strategies in the operatory to prevent pain and ensure career longevity. Through engaging demonstrations, you will discover powerful evidence-based strategies they can easily apply in the operatory: equipment selection & adjustment, patient positioning, body mechanics, lighting and other factors.

Course Objectives – At the conclusion of the program, you will be able to:

  • Implement appropriate ergonomic interventions for chronic back, neck and shoulder.
  • Identify 3 ergonomic criteria to select dental loupes that will improve their health…not make it worse!
  • Make ergonomic modifications in the operatory with minimal expense.
  • Position patients, headrest & overhead light correctly depending upon arch and tooth surface being treated.
  • Position assistants correctly chairside.
  • Identify unique pain patterns in specialists (endo, pedo, perio, ortho and oral surgeons) and implement specific interventions.
  • Identify ergonomic features and adjustment of operator stools, patient chairs & delivery systems.
  • Learn how pain develops in the operatory to wisely select effective interventions.

Join Dr. Bethany for this interactive session to transform your life, and help ensure your career longevity.

Afternoon Topic
Fitness 101 for Dental Professionals: Secrets for Comfort and Career Longevity

Have you tried exercise regimens, personal trainers, chiropractors, acupuncture, massage therapists, but your pain persists? This course is for YOU!

In this interactive seminar, Dr. Valachi introduces a special system of evidence-based exercise, pain therapy, self-treatment and stress management interventions to help dental professionals take control of their own health and extend their careers. Attendees will actively participate in this dynamic seminar and discover muscle imbalances to which they are uniquely prone in the profession and how to select corrective therapeutic exercise. Generic exercise routines that aren’t a problem for the general public (Pilates, yoga, P90X and Crossfit) can throw dental team members into the vicious pain cycle and must be modified. Discover how to release painful accumulated tension in muscles with easy self-treatment strategies.

Course Objectives – Participants will learn:

  • Why dental professionals require specific exercise guidelines.
  • How to develop a customized exercise program specifically for dental professionals.
  • How to identify generic exercises that can actually create & worsen pain syndromes.
  • How to incorporate chairside stretching into their workday.
  • Self-treatment techniques for painful, ischemic muscles and trigger points.
  • Which pain therapies/treatments are most effective, based on the current research.
  • How to combat the detrimental physical effects of stress.


Bethany Valachi is a clinical instructor of ergonomics at OHSU School of Dentistry in Portland, Oregon and Ergonomics Editor for DPR magazine.

Dr. Valachi is a doctor of physical therapy who has worked exclusively with dental professionals for over 20 years. She is recognized internationally as an expert in dental ergonomics and has provided over 700 dental lectures worldwide, which have provided pain relief to thousands of dental professionals. Dr. Valachi is also a prolific author who has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed dental journals, and produced a series of dental ergonomic & exercise Online CE Video Courses. Dr. Bethany Valachi is a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist and consults with universities and practicing dental professionals to improve ergonomics.


  • Dr. Valachi has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.
  • The staff of the University of Washington Office of Continuing Dental Education have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Course Logistics

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Lewis & Clark Event Center
117 W. Magnolia Street
Centralia, WA 98531

This course is designed for dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and office staff.

Register for this course through the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) CDE office here.

Registration and Continental Breakfast: 8:00am – 8:30am
Course: 8:30am – 4:30pm

TUITION – price includes lunch:
Until April 24, 2019 (after, $25 more)
$189/Hygienist, Dental Assistant, Office Staff

7 hours

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The University of Washington and Oregon Health Sciences University are ADA CERP Recognized Providers.
This continuing education activity hs been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program (ADA CERP) through joint efforts between the University of Washington and Oregon Health Sciences University.

ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

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The University of Washington is a member of the Association for Continuing Dental Education.

University of Washington designates this activity for 7 continuing education credits.